Alone in the Dark is a mostly successful reboot that’s just a little rough around the edges

I can think of few better ways to reboot a series than modernise the aesthetics, the mechanics, tell an ongoing story and cast two Hollywood caliber leads in the titular roles.

Alone in the Dark ticks all those boxes. They even manage to throwback to the classic horror filters and character models of the original 1992 games and find a way to incorporate them in a 2024 game. Wild scenes.

And when you’ve got Mr Stranger Things, David Harbour and Mrs Killing Eve Jodie Comer standing in the spotlight, front and center, you really do have a recipe for success. Or do you?

Alone in the Dark does a lot of things very well. It offers players choice with both melee and gun combat, you’ve got a classic over the shoulder camera as you traverse an oversized manor and trudge through nightmarish hellscapes, there’s some tricky puzzles that are just solveable enough for you to make through without guides. There’s even an ok story tying it together.

The game comes together well and it even looks the part. Even the franchise has pedigree, so there’s a lot of good ingredients in here that should make this one a must buy.

And for the most part, I enjoyed my time alone…uh….in the dark. For a horror, the transitions between the manor and the rotten memories that linger within made sense and gave me some good throwback vibes to franchise favourites like Eternal Darkness. I liked the choice between the two leads and the fact that it leads to different turns of the story, prolonging the length and really filling in some blanks.

Even the puzzles, despite some definitely being more complex than others, offered a nice challenge and weren’t the usual simplicity you tend to find in the genre as you use your notebook and clues to solve particular riddles.

But then you really start to get into the grit of the game and frustrations definitely creep in, like the combat which feels ropey between character movement, delay, and strike impact. The types of enemies you fight always seem to get a hit in no matter how evasive you are or how smart you play and they’re always the type that hit low so you’re slow to get your aim towards them.

The game does play with some interesting ideas, though, like switching out melee weapons with different types throughout the game, such as hatchets and sledgehammers. And these do degrade over several uses, so watching out for that in clutch situations is going to be invaluable and essential to survival. But further still these weapons are used to break down barriers that enable you to move to different locations, like roadblocks, so leaving some juice for that is also crucial.

It also keeps the map interactive, showing you where you’ve been and haven’t been, if there’s hidden clues to solve or if you’ve yet to visit a certain area. This will be music to the ears of modern day fans of horror games like Res who’ve been relying on this very feature for progress.


Even the collectibles, which are bunched up into categories, works quite nicely as you go on a bit of a treasure hunt, especially since no one character can get them all. You’ll need to play as both to get the full set, which is a smart idea for replayability and to ensure you see the game in its entirety.

But then there’s the acting performances which feel quite wooden despite the A list talent on show. While the mocap itself isn’t much to write home about, it’s also some of the lines and the delivery of them. Which definitely feels like a bit of a shock considering the talent both actors have. It’s not just them, though, as the sub-cast equally feel like they’re not vibing with the story very much.

It’s certainly not for it being terrible, though. As horrors go this one goes to extra lengths to develop a plot, fill it with backstory and really build a tension beyond just your conventional jump scares and crafting the most horrifying looking thing possible. The manor acts like a character in many ways and you’ll find yourself intrigued enough by the cast and how they fit into the wider picture.

The original game didn’t even go to these depths, which will make it somewhat of a joy for fans of the classics. But just like the original game, there’s much that’s faithful here, such as that initial character choice and the fact that you are traipsing through a manor, uncovering secrets, and constantly seeing the environment shift and change. It certainly ensures the manor is always keeping you on your toes and encouraging you to explore every nook and cranny. Sometimes multiple times over.

For me, Alone in the Dark is just a cut above the average and manages to implement some smart ideas and concepts that make it enjoyable to play and will encourage you to see it through. There’s rough edges, no doubt, and it doesn’t quite deliver the acting performances you’d hope for, but I would absolutely be ok to see more of these two as Edward Carnby and Emily Hartwood.


Alone in the Dark is a mostly successful reboot for the franchise. It takes things back to basics, adds more layered story, provides an ever-shifting environment and implements some smart mechanics to keep the experience interesting. It’s a bit rough around the edges though, with some sticking bugs, janky combat and the acting performances do underwhelm at times, but this one is definitely worth a look for its tricky puzzles and desire to provide tension and atmosphere not entirely tied to jumpscares. 


+ The manor is fun to explore and there’s some great puzzles to find
+ Good layered story that smartly expands on the original
+ Multiple characters to widen out story and offer new perspectives.


– Janky combat
– Some glitches and bugs do slow things down
– Acting performances are a bit disappointing and likenesses don’t look great

Alone in the Dark is out now on PC, Xbox and PlayStation

Code Kindly Provided by THQ Nordic for review purposes

Played on PlayStation 5

About the author

Brad Baker

Brad is an absolute horror buff and adores the new take on I.T. He also fancies himself as a bit of a Battle Royale master but never when anyone's watching.
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